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Is 300K enough to retire on at age 37?
Old 07-16-2010, 08:36 PM   #1
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Is 300K enough to retire on at age 37?

Hello, new here.

I am 37, from the US and completely sick of the work grind.

Suppose, hypothetically if I reached my goal of 300K in savings by the end of this year and got laid off, would it be enough to retire on?

I am risk-averse and not familiar with most financial products (still learning). I have no dependents so I would be spending this mostly on myself with a few exceptions.

My expenses are roughly $20K a year - I would like to live comfortably without having to work ever again - preferably in the US (!)

Curious, do you think this would be doable - or what changes / sacrifices in my lifestyle would I have to make in order to be able to afford to retire w/ this money?

Thank you for any insights,
Pat
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:40 PM   #2
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A) Cut your expenses in half to $10k/year,
B) Get another $300K,or
C) A mix, get another $150k and reduce your expenses to $15k/year

Otherwise you will probably run out of money in about 10-20 years. This also assumes you invest wisely.
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Old 07-16-2010, 09:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by tiredwrkr View Post
Hello, new here.

I am 37, from the US and completely sick of the work grind.

Suppose, hypothetically if I reached my goal of 300K in savings by the end of this year and got laid off, would it be enough to retire on?

I am risk-averse and not familiar with most financial products (still learning). I have no dependents so I would be spending this mostly on myself with a few exceptions.

My expenses are roughly $20K a year - I would like to live comfortably without having to work ever again - preferably in the US (!)

Curious, do you think this would be doable - or what changes / sacrifices in my lifestyle would I have to make in order to be able to afford to retire w/ this money?

Thank you for any insights,
Pat
Your expenses (currently) are 6.7% of your nest egg. If you can invest it and get 8% you might be able to make it. Other options: Save some more money, keep working, move to some remote 3rd world country and retire there. Kind of following the thinking of "plex".
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Old 07-16-2010, 09:06 PM   #4
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Not a chance, unless your wife works or you live in a cardboard box down under the highway near the railroad station.

Also tell us about your health care and your upcoming appendectomy, heart bypass, rabies shots, and a broken neck stemming from next week's auto accident.
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Old 07-16-2010, 09:41 PM   #5
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Old 07-16-2010, 09:48 PM   #6
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Not enough. You'll probably need some kind of income, even if part time, to avoid spending from your nest egg until you can get it larger. Preferably a part time job with health insurance.
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Old 07-16-2010, 10:08 PM   #7
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There is enough information on this board to answer that question. Do some research!
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Old 07-16-2010, 10:12 PM   #8
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Pat, your situation is not a lot different from mine. I already had $300k in personal savings when I retired in 2008 at age 45. My expenses, including HI, are about $21k. However, I added about $300k to my non-retirement savings when I left and was able to invest it and get about 7%-8% due to the good timing of my retirement and investment. I also have about $300k in an IRA.

I need the IRA and other retirement income streams as "reinforcements" to cover the inflationary elements of being retired. I also want a considerable cushion now to offset any deficits or unforseen expenses I may incur over the years.

That is what you need, too. I basically agree with what Plex wrote about either doubling your savings or halving your expenses or some combination of the two.
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Old 07-16-2010, 11:05 PM   #9
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$300,000 in income a year to retire... NO problem. $300,000 to last 50 to 60 years in the US... BIG problem.
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Old 07-16-2010, 11:06 PM   #10
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Just a couple days ago, George (of Ms. Tioga fame) told of this:

Quote:
Before I began to live my vagabonding lifestyle with MsTioga, it was clear that my retirement income would be insufficient to pay rent. Back in 2003, my Social Security income was a bit under $1,000/month. There would not be enough money to pay rent. Also, my new nomadic lifestyle really did not include staying in one place. So, rent would not be part of that lifestyle.
(See at Tioga George Blog)

So, to answer your question: Yes, you could retire with what you have now. However, you should ask yourself if you really want to work that hard because life would not be cushy by any means. On the other hand, George has had a wonderful life since he found himself "on the street" with limited resources -- read his Blog. I say "Go for it" if that's what you want -- "follow your bliss" as Joseph Campbell advised.
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Old 07-17-2010, 12:11 AM   #11
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There's a great tool available here -- FIRECac -- that can help your answer your question. You'll find a link near the bottom of the page.

Welcome!

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Old 07-17-2010, 05:33 AM   #12
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IMO - Nope.... You need to educate yourself.


The good news is that if you have 300k at 37, you have a good basis to build upon to ER in perhaps 15 years or so (provided your investments work out).

Spend it now, and you will likely have to go back to work and not be able to retire until much later.
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Old 07-17-2010, 05:36 AM   #13
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First congrats on accumulating $300K by age 37. The majority of people in this country sad to say will never see a nest egg that big.

I would say in your case it's too little money for how much time you have left in your life. Best options would be to find a full time job that you enjoy. Part-time work might cover expenses but probably would not allow you to continue building on your 300K nest egg.

I have included a link to FIRCalc below, it's not always easy to find. I put the basics of your numbers in, starting income $20K, nest egg $300K length of income stream needed 45 years, 50% portfolio mix between equities and fixed income, soc security income of $10K starting at age 66, Unfortunatley you have better than a 85% chance of running out of money. Not good odds.

Play with FIRECalc it will help give some different pictures. I also took the above info and added $20K income from now until age 50. Your odds of successfully retiring at 50 improved to almost 94% chance for success.

FIRECalc: A different kind of retirement calculator
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:10 AM   #14
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It would be enough if you planned to die in your early 40s.

Joking aside, as others mentioned, you will need to find ways to supplement your income. It's interesting that you are risk averse investor but you are entertaining the thought of retiring in your late 30s.
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:31 AM   #15
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Assuming you had no dependents and lived in your parent's basement (or a cave - maybe the same thing ), you may be able to get by.

More importantly, at your young age (BTW, I'm 62) the question in my mind is what happened to you. Your outlook (based upon my personal experience) is poor. Heck, at that age, my professional life was really only beginning.

You may have other challenges (depression, drug/alcohol dependency, medical condition, etc.) that may be part of the problem (and I say this, because I've been there).

It just seems that you have given up on life, too early in life. For me, that's your biggest challange - not trying to survive "the rest of your life" on what you've already achieved...
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:10 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by tiredwrkr View Post
Hello, new here.



My expenses are roughly $20K a year - I would like to live comfortably without having to work ever again - preferably in the US (!)


Pat

20K year + comfortably + US = probably not.

I think that if you have even 1 or 2 heath issues your health insurance will premiums will probably take up about 50% of that. Any you may be healthy as can be right now, but you don't have a clue what tomorrow will bring.

If you want to take a chance and give up health insurance? well, people do it all the time and you could probably make it reasonably comfortable but it is not a risk I would recommend taking to be quite honest.

If you want to move to a developing country where the cost of living is VERY LOW and the health care is of fairly good quality and reasonable priced, then you could probably do it. However, I wouldn't put down too many ties in such a country (such as purchasing RE) as these types of countries are not normally the most stable and you may have to up and move to another country in a few years.

I know that some people really HATE their jobs. I mean they are miserable and dread every day. In this case, perhaps the best thing to do is to quit your much hated job and get something less stressful, even if it makes a lot less money, as long as it offers Health Insurance. In a couple of years you can re-examine things.
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:26 AM   #17
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:56 AM   #18
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I hear in Thailand money goes a long way maybe there?
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:50 AM   #19
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I'm 38, with a nest egg of about 680k, and despite this I'm not convinced I can retire at 45. The fact that my wife likes her job and will likely keep working after I pull the plug really helps my cause.

If had 300k right now, FIRE wouldn't even enter my mind...
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:59 AM   #20
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I highly recommend the book Amazon.com: Work Less, Live More: The Way to Semi-Retirement (9781413307054): Robert Clyatt:…

It addresses ESR (early semi-retirement), with specific information for people who really want to get out early but don't quite have the means to do it. Mostly, that is done by supplementing your portfolio withdrawals with some part-time income.

BTW, the book was written by a member of this forum. I've read it several times and find something new or inspiring each time I read it.

I don't think there's anything wrong with recognizing that you'll want to leave the work grind behind as soon as possible. I was 32 when I made the decision that I did not want to remain in the corporate environment until age 65. It took me 15 years to do it, because I wanted to focus on paying off my house, building my investment portfolio, and then lining up a little part-time income. But I am a fiscal conservative; someone willing to take a little more risk probably could have done it sooner.
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